Illegal Rice Export -Due to higher levies on rice imports and inaction by the government to curb rice smuggling, it is expected that illegal rice imports in Nigeria have expanded sharply to around 3 million tons in 2013 and will continue in future as well.
In order to ban rice imports by 2015, Federal government introduced a 40% levy on brown rice imports and 110% levy on polished/milled rice imports since January 2012. But this in turn led to cross border informal rice trade and avoidance of duty payments. Even after prohibiting land imports, there are still informal imports via Benin Republic, Cameroon and Niger. Illegal Rice Export
The various other reasons for this Illegal Rice Export are, that locally produced rice is still expensive compared to imported rice and lack of infrastructure & logistics. According to USDA the other major reason is difference in rice price across the border, a 50Kg bag of Indian rice, selling for $38 in Benin, sells for $67 in Nigeria. Hence the price gap boosts importers to ship their consignments to ports in Benin and Cameroon, having lower import duties then trading to Nigeria illegally.
One other reason for illegal imports is upcoming election in 2015, where Nigerian politicians donate money and rice to poor class for votes, which is also a diversion towards anti-smuggling enforcement.